The theme from "High Noon" contains a subtle but unusual percussion accompaniment.

It seems very out of place (in a good way) in a western.

Was that strange rhythm and instrument unique to this film, or had it appeared elsewhere?


1 Answer 1


The percussion part sounds like a muffled snare drum but Dimitri Tiomkin who composed the song for the film used a Novachord to create the sound. The Novachord is often considered to be the world's first commercial polyphonic synthesizer. It was designed by John M. Hanert, Laurens Hammond and C. N. Williams, and was manufactured from 1939-1942 by the Hammond company, better known for their organs. The drum part in the song is reminiscent of the muffled drums often used for military funerals. Muffled drums were also sometimes used in classical music. One example is Gustav Mahler's use of a muffled snare drum in the first movement of his fifth symphony.

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